This Film Is Not Yet Rated
The documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated has made
a number of reviewers go weak in the knees (83%
on the Tomatometer). It's about
the MPAA's movie-rating system; filmmaker Kirby Dick despises it, and
his film is a broadside against it.
are concerned about all that First Amendment and censorship
stuff to an above-average degree, you might think libertarian-oriented
websites would embrace Dick's movie. Not so, Tonto! Adam Thierer
at the Technology Liberation Front sat through the film and, as near
as I can tell, just got madder and
madder as it went along.
Although Adam (at least vaguely) can
see merit in one of Dick's points that excessively violent movies
should be rated comparably to those with explicit sex …
The rest of it is just a tedious and baseless screed against the
MPAA's rating system based on the preposterous notion that private
ratings are somehow tantamount to censorship. Indeed, what is most
frustrating about the documentary is Dick's absolute refusal to
seriously discuss whether or not this voluntary ratings system —
warts and all — is actually worse than real government censorship.
Moreover, he doesn't bother seriously debating the deterrent effect
of the MPAA's ratings system, which many argue has helped deter
government efforts to regulate movie content. Dick interviews a few
experts in the film who suggest that this fear has been overblown and,
amazingly, one of them even argues that he thinks a government-based
ratings system would be better because it would supposedly be
more transparent and film makers would get a fairer hearing.
It's interesting to see these kinds of fissures between
(what I'll call for lack of a better term) thoughtful and thoughtless
libertarians. Adam, one of the former, reveals Dick as one of the
2007-02-26 6:00 PM EST
Last Modified 2012-10-19 2:44 PM EDT